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Kidani’s Korner… Mililani High Attracts National Attention


Sen. Michelle Kidani

It is always a thrill to attend high school commencement ceremonies in Hawaii.

The colors of the robes, the aroma of the lei and the outpouring of heartfelt congratulations and good wishes make these occasions a true highlight for students, families, teachers and school leadership. Mililani High School’s ceremonies over the Memorial Day weekend were extra special and an occasion for the entire community to share in its success.

Two news items over the last couple of weeks provided reasons to celebrate.

First, U.S. News & World Report published its national rankings for high schools across the country, and we read with great pride that Mililani was at the top of the list of Hawaii public schools.

The criteria used to rank the schools include reading and math proficiency, college readiness and Advanced Placement class offerings and enrollment. This is well-deserved recognition of the academic quality that is a hallmark of the educational experience that Mililani offers our youngsters.

Second, Honolulu Star-Advertiser noted recently that public schools are more than holding their own in high school athletics versus Hawaii’s private schools.

A column by Dave Reardon reported that, while the ILH won more state championships than OIA schools, the margin was slim. He pointed to Mililani’s state championships in football and both boys and girls soccer as significant milestones.

Reardon also quoted OIA Red Conference Football Coach of the Year Rod York, who said, “I believe public schools are hiring more qualified coaches for every sport. Also, there are more qualified coaches applying for the head coaching jobs.”

We’re proud of Mililani High School’s achievements in both academics and athletics, and applaud our community for its wholehearted support of excellence in the classroom and in competitive sports.

A milestone day

May 19 was a day of celebration when Honolulu Community Action Program’s (HCAP) Head Start program marked its 50th anniversary of serving preschoolers and their families across the state.

I served for a time as Mililani Neighborhood Board’s representative on the HCAP board and have been an enthusiastic fan of Head Start for many years.

The program is active in more than 80 locations on Oahu, including a half dozen centers in the Kunia-Wahiawa-Helemano area. Head Start also brings in about $15 million in federal funding to our state annually. More than that, the 1,700 youngsters in the program each year develop learning and social skills that will serve them well through their school years and as tomorrow’s leaders in our neighborhoods.

Head Start’s current director is Mililani resident Lynn Cabato, who has been with the program for nearly 40 years.

Lynn began as a social service aide and served as program director for the past decade. She has passionately devoted her life to the program that depends on its strong staff and community support to strengthen the services Head Start provides.

Happy anniversary to the Head Start ohana, and best wishes for many more successful years!

Sen. Michelle Kidani represents District 18 (Mililani Town, most of Waipio Gentry, along with Village Park, Royal Kunia and Waikele). Call her at 586- 7100 at the state Capitol, Room 228, or email senkidani@capitol.hawaii.gov.